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Pedestrians get access Corolla Greenway sidewalk

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Barry Ward
Staff Writer

Monday, May 30, 2016

COROLLA — Pedestrians should feel safer along the busy Outer Banks roadways now that they have a new place to walk with the completion of Phase III of the Corolla Greenway Project.

Construction of the three-mile long, 10-foot wide concrete sidewalk just off N.C. Highway 12 was completed on May 20 and locals were permitted to take their first steps on it Thursday. Construction of the sidewalk started Jan. 11.

“I'm glad it's complete. It's a stellar project,” said Commission Vice Chairman Vance Aydlett. “Good work by all involved. Special thanks to (Currituck Project Manager) Eileen Wirth who has been the point person throughout.”

Aydlett said he hopes the sidewalk will make the area safer for pedestrians.

The sidewalk runs from the south end of Section A in Ocean Sands north to the Monteray Shopping Plaza on Albacore Street. The sidewalk was built to provide a safe space for walkers, pets, cyclists, babies in strollers and others off the N.C. 12 roadside.

According to a public service announcement released by Currituck County, motor vehicles are prohibited from traveling on the sidewalk.

“We ask that you use caution on the path, particularly at community intersections, and at the Ocean Sands Wastewater Treatment Plant project where trucks accessing the plant will be crossing the path,” said the county in its public service announcement.

The sidewalk was built at a cost of $1,581,657, below the $3 million in occupancy taxes the county appropriated to fund the project during FY 2014-15.

Wirth said in an email Thursday that any remaining funds from the project will go back into the occupancy tax fund.

The engineer and designer for the project was Coastal Engineering and Surveying, Inc. of Kitty Hawk. Hatchell Concrete Inc. of Manteo handled construction of the sidewalk.

The sidewalk was originally set to be four miles long, but it was decreased to three miles because of design issues and after it was determined that the extra mile would run into an undeveloped section of Ocean Sands.

Wirth said Ocean Sands Section T has a narrow right-of-way that would push the path too close to the roadside. She said that would make walking on the sidewalk dangerous for pedestrians.

The first two phases of the Corolla Greenway Project was the construction of a 10-foot wide, mile and a half concrete sidewalk on Ocean Hill, north of Heritage Park in Corolla.

Wirth said in an email Thursday the next proposed phase of the Corolla Greenway Project will be construction of a multi-use path from Albacore Street to the oceanfront, and a section of Corolla Village Road from the public access to the oceanfront.

“If this phase is approved in the upcoming budget we will proceed with design and engineering, and plan to start construction in the fall of 2016 if all goes well,” Wirth said.

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